In recent days, the Centers for Disease Control has issued new guidance regarding cloth face covers for general use to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The CDC now recommends that all Americans wear cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (grocery stores, pharmacies, etc…), and especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.
The recommendation is based on evolving data which shows that a significant portion of people with coronavirus lack symptoms, and that even those who eventually develop symptoms can transmit the virus to others before becoming symptomatic. This means that the virus can spread between people interacting in close proximity: via speaking, coughing or sneezing, even if these people are not showing symptoms.
The CDC has also outlined several step-by-step guides to make a face cover at home with materials that you likely already own. See here for more information.
“First and foremost, this recommendation does not say to use surgical masks or N95 respirators which are still in critically short supply and are needed to keep our medical professionals and first responders safe,” said Freeholder Director Louis Cappelli, Jr.
“The face cover helps stop the spread of the virus to others but remember that this is an additional step we have to take to slow the spread, it does not replace the guidance we have had in place for several weeks. That means you should still maintain six feet of separation even if everyone is wearing a mask.”
The CDC advises that cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under the age of two years old, anyone who has trouble breathing, or anyone who is unconscious or otherwise unable to remove the cover without assistance.